International Drive’s completion date is July 17, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to drive on it.
As of publication, it has not been officially announced when traffic will be allowed on the road.
Tuesday marks the “substantial completion” date of the road project, not the open date, according to county spokesperson Kelly Moore. That means the road is essentially finished, but there is a little more work to do to ensure that it is entirely ready and safe before the county will allow the public onto the road.
Horry County wants to make sure when the road opens that everything is good to go, Moore said.
Once vehicle-ready, there will be a scheduled grand opening for International Drive. Citizens should expect the announcement for the likely ribbon-cutting ceremony to come early next week, Moore said.
The journey to International Drive being open to the public has been an long one.
International Drive began as a Ride II project over a decade ago, but the development was delayed for several years because of a Coastal Conservation League lawsuit to preserve the wetlands and protect the black bear population. Weather delays were a primary reason for the most recent holdup, Moore said in June.
The most recent delay pushed the project back 17 days from June 30 to the current completion date. For a road project to be delayed, the construction company must get county approval. For International Drive, Moore said, recent rains and bad weather are why the county decided to give an extension on the roads opening.
Once open, International Drive will allow traffic along Highway 90 another route into Myrtle Beach. While the eastern part of the road already is home to a grocery store and other businesses, the western part is mostly protected environmental land. That means a majority of the road will not be lined with stores like Highway 501 heading into Myrtle Beach.